Sumatra: Police are looking for elephant killers – rare specimen beheaded

Jakarta – Poisoned and beheaded! A rare Sumatran elephant died in the Indonesian province of Aceh because of its tusks.

“The police are busy with the case and we hope that the perpetrators will be found soon,” said Agus Arianto, the head of the local conservation agency, on Tuesday. The rest of the carcass was discovered on Sunday in the village of Jambo Reuhat in the east of the region. “We suspect that it was killed because of its tusks,” said Arianto of the dead animal.

Investigations have shown that the approximately twelve-year-old male was poisoned before his head was severed.

The Sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) is a subspecies of the Asian elephant. It is only native to the island of Sumatra and is classified as critically endangered on the Red List of the World Conservation of Nature Union (IUCN). As the animal habitat continues to shrink, it is estimated that there are fewer than 3,000 specimens in the wild today.

Last week a wild Sumatran elephant, also in Aceh, attacked and killed a farmer. The man and other local residents had previously tried to prevent a herd of pachyderms from raiding the fields.


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